The 2018 Farm Bill and the trend toward worldwide legalization have changed the face of the cannabis industry. As we learn more about the importance of our endocannabinoid system, more and more cannabis and hemp compounds are getting “discovered.”
The cannabinoid dominating the headlines these days is delta-8, a close analog to delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound responsible for the “high” of traditional cannabis. So, before we dive into the delta 8 v delta 9 debate, let’s take a look at each compound’s unique properties.
The Power of One Double Bond
Delta-8 and delta-9 THC are nearly identical chemical compounds. The only difference between the two molecules is the placement of one double bond.
Regular THC has the bond on the ninth atom of a chain of carbons, and, as you may guess from its name, delta-8 features the double bond on the eighth carbon atom.
The tiny shift in the position of the double bond makes a world of difference in the effects of the two cannabinoids. Delta-8’s altered molecular structure prohibits the molecule from binding as strongly with CB1 endocannabinoid receptors in the brain and central nervous system. The weaker link allows delta-8 to offer distinctly mellower psychoactive effects.
What Do Delta-8’s Effects Feel Like?
Most delta-8 consumers report a clear-headed high that allows them to function during daytime activities. Microdosing delta-8 has become a popular pastime as many people feel the compound helps them ease tension and promote concentration at work. The cannabinoid has become so widespread in corporate settings that some have begun to refer to delta-8 as a “businessperson’s buzz.”
When consumed in moderation, delta-8 rarely produces unwanted intoxicating effects like traditional THC does. For the most part, people can use delta-8 to relax and spark the imagination without fear of experiencing intense feelings like paranoia or excessive sedation.
Delta-8 and CBD: Differences and Similarities
Since regular THC and CBD are the most abundant active compounds in cannabis and hemp plants, scientists call them “major cannabinoids.” Delta-8, on the other hand, is classified as a “minor cannabinoid” because the compound is only present in small amounts in most plants. For the most part, delta-8 is created as regular THC starts to degrade.
As far as the effects go, CBD and delta-8 have little in common besides promoting a sense of relaxation. CBD interacts indirectly with CB1 receptors and can’t produce the intoxicating mental effects THC does.
Delta-8 is also more likely to show up on a drug screening than CBD. Since delta-8 is a degraded form of THC, the compound is a specific target of some drug tests.
Delta-8’s Therapeutic Benefits
Delta-8 offers most of the same benefits that regular THC does, plus a few of its own.
Delta-8 stimulates appetite and reduces nausea.
Researchers concluded that delta-8 stimulates appetite even in low doses, making the compound potentially useful for treating wasting syndrome and eating disorders. Additionally, a 1995 study conducted in Israel discovered that administering delta-8 reduced nausea and eliminated vomiting in children undergoing chemotherapy.
Delta-8 can ease stress and body aches.
The National Cancer Institute includes anxiety and pain relief among delta-8’s properties in its definition of the compound.
Delta-8 helps protect brain cells.
Most cannabinoids have neuroprotective properties, and delta-8 is no exception. Similar to CBD, delta-8 combats oxidative stress, a major component in neurodegenerative disorders. Delta-8 may also help preserve acetylcholine levels. Reduced acetylcholine is associated with tremors, memory loss, and coordination problems often present in cases of Parkinson's and Alzheimer’s diseases.
Delta-8 helps lower intraocular pressure.
Patients have used cannabis for decades to reduce the intraocular pressure associated with glaucoma. Delta-8 produces the same effect and offers a less psychoactive alternative.
Delta-8 encourages cancer cell apoptosis.
Preliminary animal studies found that delta-8 reduced tumor size in rats with leukemia.
Keep in mind that delta-8 research remains in the preliminary stages. This article is intended for educational purposes and not meant to substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your doctor before adding delta-8 to your daily routine.
One of the most significant advantages of delta-8 is that the compound is federally legal. The 2018 Agricultural Improvement Act legalized hemp and hemp-derived compounds that contain less than .3% delta-9 THC. The Act, commonly called the Farm Bill, encompasses not only cannabinoids like CBD and CBG but also THC isomers, such as delta-8 and delta-10.
While delta-8 is federally legal, the availability of delta-8 products depends on your state. Some states already had regulations prohibiting all forms of THC, including delta-8. Others have banned the compound under the faulty premise that delta-8 is a synthetic cannabinoid. Unlike dangerous synthetics, such as Spice, Delta-8 is a naturally occurring compound found in hemp plants. The final reason some states have banned delta-8 products is concern about competition for their legal cannabis industries.
We suggest that you consult with your state’s regulations to determine if delta-8 products are legal where you live. Delta-8 can be challenging to find even in states where it’s permitted. The best way to buy delta-8 is through a reputable online source that sells lab-tested products and only ships to areas where delta-8 is permitted.
Most Popular Delta-8 Products
Like CBD, delta-8 products come in a range of presentations, such as edibles, tinctures, and concentrates. Pure Hemp Farms is proud to offer our customers premium delta-8 products, including:
- Delta-8 Hemp Flower: We offer our top-shelf delta-8 hemp flower in an assortment of popular strains, such as Blue Dream, Northern Lights, and Girl Scout Cookies.
- Delta-8 Vape Cartridges: Our premium, lab-tested delta-8 carts come in a wide range of flavors, including legendary strains like Pineapple Express, Sour Diesel, and Durban Poison.